How to Pass the HiSET®

  • Start Early – Nothing beats knowing your stuff and the best way is to get started as early as possible.
  • Know what to Expect – Find out what is on the test – see below for details
  • Practice, Practice, Practice – Yes practice does make possible
  • Learn HOW to take a test – See test taking tips below and the HiSET Test Strategy book
  • Get a Study Guide – Study guides are prepared by experts and will save you a ton of time.  Get one, start at the first page and go through to the last page.

About the Test

The HiSET® is an assessment that measures the minimum knowledge of a High School graduate. If the aspirant passes the test receives a certificate equivalent to a high school diploma.

The HiSET is the same as a high school graduation diploma – This means it is accepted by colleges and by the US military.  More information on entrance to the military – Armed servicesJobs in the military

This credential isn’t the same as a High School diploma, but it’s accepted in several states as a certificate of equivalency. However, it’s valuable because with it you can apply for superior studies or jobs that require high school.

In most states you need to be at least 18 to take the test, but the minimum age is 16 in some states. For those who are 16 there are some special requirements that vary according to the state’s policies.

The HiSET® is divided in five sub-tests, you can schedule to take them all at once or one at a time, and you can take them in any order you want.

The High School Equivalency Test® is one of the programs that offer you a certificate equivalent to a High School diploma. It’s an official credential issued by the state that has a national validity, if it is accepted in the state.

For the Mathematics section, the HiSET® allows you to use calculator, but you can’t bring your own, the calculators are provided in the center the test day.

The HiSET is accepted in these states

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wyoming

High School Equivalency Tests

Test Content

The HiSET® has five sub-tests:

  • The Social Studies sub-test has 50 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 70 minutes. It assesses your knowledge in economics, history, geography, political science, anthropology, psychology and others.
  • In the Language Arts (Writing) sub-test you must write an essay and answer 50 multiple-choice questions. You’ll have 120 minutes to complete this section.
  • The Language Arts (Reading) sub-test has 40 questions that must be answered in 65 minutes. The questions are related to several texts provided to you during the test.
  • The Science sub-test has 50 questions about astronomy, physics, human health, chemistry, and others. You will have 50 minutes to answer them.
  • For the Mathematics sub-test you will have 90 minutes to answer 50 questions related with mathematical procedures.

How to register

The first step to registering for this test is to review the requirements in your state. If you are eligible, then you must choose a test center near you. After that you can register and schedule your appointment.

You can register by phone, online or in a test center, but the accessibility to these will depend on the center you’re testing. The cost of the test is $10.

If you schedule a test online you can pay by debit card, credit card or PayPal.

If you schedule by phone you can pay by debit card, credit card or an HiSET Test Voucher

If you schedule at a test center the payment will depend on the individual center’s policies

If you can’t make it to the test, you can reschedule your appointment. If you’re changing your date make sure the new one is less than 12 months away. The rescheduling process depends on the test center.


The score is calculated by adding the correct answers. The passing score for the multiple-choice questions is 45 points, and for the essay is 2 points.

Once your results are ready, they will be uploaded to your HiSET account. The report is only provided on your HiSET® account, it won’t be mailed to you.

Generally, it takes three business days for the multiple-choice sub-tests and five for the Language Arts – Writing sub-test. The report will also be sent to your state, so they can prepare your credential in case you passed.

You can also send your report to community colleges, universities, a military institution or to an employer.

Retaking the test

If you don’t pass in you first try don’t worry, you can retake each sub-test twice in any year. There are no fees in order to retake the test or any sub-test in the same year. But if you want to wait more than a year you will have to pay all the fees again.

Some states have their own policies for retaking a test, so make sure you check the requirements of your state or jurisdiction.

HiSET Practice

HiSET ® Practice Test Questions - Includes math, social studies, science, English, plus how to write and essay and more.

Try a FREE Quiz

Multiple Choice Strategies for Reading Comprehension, Basic Math and Word Problems.

Proven multiple choice strategies and practice questions to increase your score!  Plus mental preparation for a test, what to do on test day, what to do in the test room and more!

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Getting Started
The HiSET® Exam 6
A Better Score Is Possible 7
Who does well on Multiple-Choice exams? 9

Types of Multiple-Choice
Multiple-Choice Quick Tips 13

Multiple-choice Step-by-Step
Multiple-choice Strategy Practice
Answer Key 39
Reading Comprehension Practice 52
Answer Key 66

Basic Math Multiple-Choice
Math Multiple-choice Strategy 76
Practice Questions 81
Answer Key 87
Fraction Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts 93
Decimal Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts 97
Percent Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts 98

Word Problem Multiple-choice Strategy
Types of Word problems 103
Practice Questions 113
Answer Key 116

How to Write an Essay
Common Essay Mistakes I 129
Common Essay Mistakes II 131
Writing Concisely 133
Avoiding Redundancy 135

How to Prepare for a Test
Mental Preparation 146

How to Take a Test
Reading the Instructions 148
How to Take a Test - The Basics 199
In the Test Room – What you MUST do! 154
Common Test-Taking Mistakes 161